We Dutch people are known to ride our bikes everywhere, and it’s true! We use our bike to get wherever we want (as long as it’s not too far away, of course). Even though I enjoy riding my bike, I refuse to do it when it’s raining. I dislike getting wet a lot, I don’t have a car, don’t enjoy spending my money on the bus and riding my bike whilst holding an umbrella isn’t very convenient, so I choose to walk!
I actually love walking everywhere, mostly because my town is quite small, so it doesn’t take to long to get anywhere. Today I want to share with you the benefits of walking, so you might choose your feet over your car a little more.
Advantage no. 1: it strengthens your heart and lowers disease risk.
Walking regularly lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increases your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which means your strengthen your heart! Walking more really just means being more active, which means you lower the risk of (type 2) diabetes, cancer and asthma, who doesn’t want that?!
Advantage no. 2: it can help prevent dementia.
Having a nan who has quite bad dementia, I know how awful it is, both for the person having it as for the people around them. Not knowing what you’ve said two minutes ago is absolutely horrible and makes living a normal life really hard, so something that helps you prevent it is absolutely worth doing. It is known that exercise can help you prevent dementia by 40 percent, so considering walking around (whether it’s to work or for fun) a little more is something I can truly recommend.
Advantage no. 3: it helps you lose weight.
If you want to lose some pounds, you’ll need to burn around 600 calories a day more than you eat. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t enjoy going to the gym to do that (I know I don’t!), so walking is the easiest way to change your body for the better. When you walk 5 km/h (3 m/ph) for thirty minutes, you’ll burn around 99 calories! So, when you walk an extra half hour a day, every day of the week, you’ll burn around 700 calories more per week! I’m telling you, it’s worth it. (And if you don’t want to lose weight, a little extra calories burnt means being able to snack a little more whenever you want, hehe!)
Advantage no. 4: it tones your bum, tum, legs and arms.
When you do want to lose weight, you don’t want everything to just hang there, so it’s important to tone your best parts!
When you walk, you automatically tone your legs and bum, throw in some hills here and there and both will look fantastic in no time! When you walk in the right position (relax your shoulders, pull in your tummy and pelvic floor and imagine you have a cup of water balanced on top of each hip bone that you don’t want to spill) you will tone your tummy with every step you take!
Speeding up whilst walking happens because of your arms. When you move your arms faster, you will automatically speed up. Even though you might never had thought it did, walking does actually tone your arms too!
Advantage no. 5: it increases your levels of vitamin D.
I know people in both the Netherlands and the UK are deficient of vitamin D, and because it’s really hard to get it out of food, it’s advisable to make sure you get as much of it as possible. You get vitamin D from sunlight, so walking around in the open air increases your levels of this important vitamin a lot. You can also take supplements, if you feel like you need even more after your walks.
Advantage no. 6: it increases you energy.
When you aren’t very well at getting energy in the morning, having a brisk walk might help you out. When you walk, every cell of your body gets more oxygen and your circulation gets a boost, which makes your energy levels go up! You might want to try having a walk whenever you feel a little more tired, it should really help you feel more energised.
Advantage no. 7: walking makes you a happier person!
It’s known that regular exercise can help a person as much as antidepressants do, so basically it’s the natural way to make you happy. Walking releases feel-good endorfines, reducing anxiety and stress. You’ll definitely be more zen when take up walking!
Basically, walking is a way to make you a better person, because it makes you happier, both because of the endorfines as the fact that it helps you tone your body, which might make you feel happier with yourself (even though every single person is damn beautiful as they are, not everyone sees themself as the wonderful being they are, and toning their bodies might help them be more positive about themselves). If you feel like doing something more for yourself and if you can get half an hour out of your day to do it, please do take up walking, it will make your life so much better!
Have a lovely rest of the day and remember to look at all the beautiful things surrounding you in life.